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Is blue light bad for you?

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With the increased amount of screen time we get every day, you may’ve wondered – is looking at my phone in bed bad for me?

Many scientists have explored whether the blue light emitted from our screens has a negative impact on our health.

Before the invention of artificial light, the sun was our major source of light and people mainly spent their nights in the dark. Nowadays, most people in the world spend their nights with some sort of artificial light, which can greatly affect our sleeping patterns.

Our body clocks (also known as the circadian clock) are attuned with the light. This means your sleeping pattern can be completely thrown off track without you knowing, however, scientists have recently discovered that blue light isn’t all bad.

What is blue light?

Sunlight is made up of seven coloured lights: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet. These colours combine to the white light we see around us.

On a scale, these lights then have a different energy and wave length. For instance, red light has a longer wavelength and less energy in comparison to blue rays, which have shorter wavelengths and more energy.

The light that is emitted from our devices may seem white, but in actual fact it’s blue. So, our eyes are exposed to higher amounts of energy and wavelengths.

Other sources of blue light include fluorescent light, LED lights, LED flat screen televisions, and Compact fluorescent bulbs.

So, you’re probably exposed to blue lights without even knowing it., however, there are many health benefits to blue light.

The health benefits of blue light

Blue light is widely known to boost alertness, elevate your mood, and can help you with cognitive and memory function.

The experts at House Call Doctor say that artificial blue light can help treat people for seasonal affective disorder (SAD). This is because people who suffer from SAD, will often have a disrupted sleeping schedule or body cycle.

During the day, blue light can help maintain a healthy circadian rhythm, however, too much exposure to blue light at night can disrupt your sleeping cycle. This can lead to sleeping problems and tiredness the next day.

What is bad about blue light?

The human eye is not the best at blocking out blue light. All visible blue light can pass through the cornea and lens of the eye and will then reach the retina. So, too much exposure to blue light can have a severe change to your circadian clock.

Your internal body clock is affected by how much light you’re exposed to, as is every organ and cell in your body. The less light you see, the more tired you will feel.

When you’re up late looking at your phone or watching television, it produces conflicting signals to your body. This can negatively affect sleep, mood, and metabolism.

People who eat and sleep at different times because of shift work, are great examples of an unsynchronised body cycle.

House Call Doctor experts say that people can find it very difficult to adapt to these sorts of disruptions to your daily cycle.

It’s UV light which we should be more worried about. Blue light is relatively harmless, but too much exposure to UV light can lead to many blinding eye diseases. So, when you’re outside in the sun, sunglasses are a perfect way to help protect your eyes from the harmful UV rays of the sun.

Della Mullins

The author Della Mullins